Limitation on partner visa sponsorships

This regulation applies in relation to an application for:

(1)  Subject to subregulations (2) and (3), if a person applies for a visa mentioned in subregulation (1AA) as the spouse, de facto partner or prospective spouse of the sponsor, the Minister must not approve the sponsorship of the applicant unless the Minister is satisfied that: 

(a)  not more than 1 other person has been granted a relevant permission as:

  • (i)  the spouse, de facto partner or prospective spouse of the sponsor on the basis of a sponsorship or nomination; or
  • (ii)  a person who ceased a relationship of a kind mentioned in subparagraph (i) with the sponsor after the person, or another person mentioned in the prescribed criteria for the visa, had suffered family violence committed by the sponsor; and
  • (b)  if another person has been granted a relevant permission in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (a) — not less than 5 years has passed since the date of making the application for that relevant permission; and
  • (c)  if the sponsor was granted a relevant permission as the spouse, de facto partner or prospective spouse of another person on the basis of a sponsorship or nomination — not less than 5 years has passed since the date of making the application for that relevant permission.

(1A)  In subregulation (1):

relevant permission means:

  • (a)  in relation to an application for a visa referred to in subregulation (1AA) made during the period from 1 November 1996 to 30 June 1997 (inclusive) — a visa; and
  • (b)  in relation to an application for a visa referred to in subregulation (1AA) made on or after 1 July 1997 — permission (other than a visa or entry permit) granted under the Act to remain indefinitely in Australia, a visa or an entry permit.

(2)  Despite subregulation (1), the Minister may approve the sponsorship of an applicant for a visa if the Minister is satisfied that there are compelling circumstances affecting the sponsor.

Registrable Offence

A registrable offence, for the purpose of visa sponsorship, is an offence against a child of a violent or sexual nature that would lead to registration on the Australian National Child Offender Register. Registrable offences include:

a registrable offence as defined in the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW), the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 (Vic), the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006 (SA) or the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005 (ACT)
an offence that would be a registrable offence if it were committed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or the Australian Capital Territory
a reportable offence as defined by the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 (Qld), the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 (WA), the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2005 (Tas) or the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Registration) Act (NT)
an offence that would be a reportable offence if it were committed in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory

Evidence of charges or convictions

If we ask you to, you or your spouse or de facto partner must give us:

  • a police check from a jurisdiction we specify
  • a police check from a country that we specify where you, or your spouse or de facto partner, has lived for any length of time

We can refuse your sponsorship if you or your spouse or de facto partner don’t provide police checks within a reasonable time.

Refusing sponsorship

We will usually refuse to approve sponsorship if a police check shows you or your partner have a conviction or outstanding charge for a registrable offence.

We might not refuse the application if you or your partner have a criminal history, provided:

  • it doesn’t include a registrable offence
  • there is no compelling concern that granting the child a visa will not be in their best interests

We might still approve sponsorship in very limited circumstances if all of these apply:

  • the offender finished serving their sentence for the last relevant offence at least 5 years before applying to be a sponsor
  • the offender hasn’t been charged with a registrable offence since completing their sentence
  • there are compelling circumstances that affect either the sponsor or the applicant

We might refuse a visa application if:

  • we think there are compelling reasons to believe granting the visa is not in the applicant’s best interests, even if you have not been charged with or convicted for a registrable offence.

Before we make a final decision to refuse the application, we will:

  • let the main visa applicant know why we are considering refusal
  • give them a chance to provide more information or evidence

Right of review

When we refuse a visa application, we let the applicant know:

  • why it was refused
  • whether they or their sponsor can seek a review

If the applicant applied in Australia and is still here, and they do not seek a review of the decision, we will let them know when they must leave.

Sharing information

We don’t give the visa applicant any police checks you or your partner provide, but we must advise them that we refused to approve your sponsorship. We will tell anyone with a right to decide where the child lives if we believe the child is at risk.

Contact us today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.